Whether you realize it or not, in many ways the quality of your life comes down to alignment.
Think about it: if you’re not aligned with your spouse, you’ll fight. If you’re not aligned with your boss, you’ll probably miss out on that big promotion. And if you’re not aligned with the law of the land, you’ll end up in jail.
The same is true of sales departments. Your team will never be as successful as it can be until you prioritize alignment. Or in other words, until you get everyone on the same page.
When everyone in your department — from the lowliest interns to the top sellers and sales managers — has the same strategies, communication channels, and goals, great things can happen. On the flip side, if your team is misaligned, your sales performance will suffer.
Read on to learn why sales alignment is essential, the four areas of alignment you should focus on, and how comms tools like video aid sales alignment.
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The benefits of sales alignment
What’s the big deal? Most sales reps work independently of one another. Do you really need to pour resources into sales team alignment? In a word, yes.
Aligned teams see improved morale, higher productivity and efficiency, and better employee retention. Alignment also helps minimize costs related to these four areas. Let’s take a closer look.
Do you know what’s not fun? Feeling like you’re at cross purposes with your colleagues, or, worse, your entire company. These feelings tend to zap motivation and lead to low morale.
On the other hand, when sales reps understand what they’re being asked to do, and when they buy into your sales strategies and goals, they’ll inevitably start to experience more success. More success leads to better engagement and higher morale, which again leads to more success.
It’s a powerful cycle. It also affects the bottom line. Companies with employees who are happy with their jobs are more than twice as likely to exceed their financial targets.
Productivity and efficiency
Clear and effective communication is one of the tenets of sales alignment. It’s also one of the keys to a productive and efficient sales team.
When your sales department is aligned, information flows quickly and easily. Reps have all the resources they need to do their jobs well, and they can access those resources with very few barriers. All of this allows reps to get more done in less time, with greater success.
When your sales team is misaligned, information is slow to disperse, muddled and confusing, and inaccessible. This is costly.
- Lost productivity caused by poor communication costs companies $26,000 a year per employee.
- Confusing or misunderstood instructions cause the average employee to waste 170 hours per year.
- Companies with poor communication are 50% more likely to experience high turnover rates.
Employees leave companies for many reasons — their pay stinks, their boss is a jerk, they hate their colleagues, they feel underappreciated, they get a better offer.
Employees leave for more subtle reasons, too. They don’t understand their job description and how their efforts benefit the company. They spend so much time answering emails, they never get a chance to focus on higher priority work.
These are alignment issues.
Sales is a high-turnover field. But you can reduce turnover for your department by working to align your reps with your sales strategy, communication channels, and goals.
Once you do, you could save tens of thousands of dollars for your company. Employee turnover costs as much as $97,690 per sales rep in hiring costs and lost sales revenue.
Align your sales team around these four areas
The benefits of sales team alignment are clear. The question is, what should you align your sales team around? We recommend starting in these four areas.
1. High-level goals
Do you have a vision for your sales department? The only correct answer to this question is, “yes.” Without a vision, you won’t be able to set high-level goals. And without high-level goals, your sales department won’t have anything concrete to work towards.
Decide what, specifically, you and your team are trying to achieve, as well as the kind of culture you want your department to have. Then communicate this to your reps in clear terms, and reinforce it on a regular basis.
When your reps understand departmental goals and how their individual efforts help achieve them, they’ll be able to work more effectively. They’ll also become more engaged, which should help them improve their productivity and efficiency metrics.
2. Day-to-day goals
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you achieve high-level goals? By setting day-to-day goals that, once accomplished, will lead you to the big, awesome, world-breaking goals you’ve set for your department.
Day-to-day goals are things like sales targets, incentives, KPIs, and metrics — i.e. things that are easily measured and can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.
For example, you could task your sales reps with:
- Selling X amount of product to earn Y incentive.
- Calling and emailing X amount of prospects on a daily basis.
- Selling X amount of products while maintaining Y conversion rate to close Z deals.
Each of these are small, measurable goals that help you achieve the bigger, overarching ones.
Once you determine the right day-to-day goals for your sales team, communicate them to your reps. As we mentioned before, communication is key to alignment. It’s difficult (read: impossible) to align with something you don’t understand.
3. Team leadership
Every team needs a leader. Who’s yours?
To achieve sales alignment, every single person on your team needs to know the answer to this question. If they don’t, your department will have issues. It’s inevitable.
Your reps won’t know who to listen to. This will encourage them to start making their own decisions — many of which won’t align with your high-level and day-to-day goals.
How do we know this? Because human nature forces us all to make decisions that benefit ourselves, unless we have a compelling reason not to. Give your reps the compelling reason they need by clarifying the decision-makers and stakeholders in every situation.
This kind of clarity will improve team productivity, too. Your reps won’t have to wonder who to seek approval from. They’ll know exactly who’s in charge and who to approach when they have questions, experience problems, or want to share new ideas.
4. Sales processes
Finally, make sure your sales team is aligned in terms of processes.
How should sales reps communicate with their superiors? What about their colleagues? How should reps approach sales? Are they able to offer discounts to close deals? Can they close deals by themselves or do they need someone with more authority to sign off on them?
Your reps need to understand your sales processes. This helps them boost productivity, improve their sales numbers, and find more enjoyment in their work. (It’s hard to enjoy anything when you don’t understand how it works or how you relate to it.)
As before, all of this comes down to communication. Teach your reps what to do and how to behave in various situations so that they can complete their work in a confident and effective manner that elevates your company.
The reasons modern sales teams fail to align
If sales alignment is essential, why is it so rare? The answer to that very good question is twofold: the rise of hybrid work arrangements and information overload.
Work has changed over the past couple of years. Sales professionals are just as likely to work from home as they are to work out of a company office. But many sales leaders haven’t adapted the way they communicate with their teams to fit this new reality.
Sales teams, like most other company departments, rely heavily on traditional communication channels like email. This leads to the issue of information overload.
Trying to communicate a new sales process or incentives structure via email is a recipe for disaster. These are complicated topics. As such, they require a lot of text to communicate — text that your sales reps probably won’t read.
According to APPrise, 30% of workers admit they don’t read company emails.
Meetings (in-person or remote) are another option. But for day-to-day alignment, meetings fall short. First, they waste a lot of selling time. And second, they suffer from the same information overload as email. Your sales team is busy. They need a streamlined way to get the bulk of their information.
How video helps align sales teams
Video is a powerful alternative to email overload and meeting fatigue. It’s an ideal communication channel for modern sales teams because it’s asynchronous, succinct, engaging, and updateable.
When used strategically, video gives your sales team the type of streamlined, accessible, and clear communication they need to align well.
Video is asynchronous
You can align your sales department by creating educational and entertaining videos that your reps can watch now, tomorrow, or whenever they need the information. This level of convenience increases the likelihood your sales team will actually watch the content you create for them.
It’s also easily accessible to them whenever they need a refresher. Combing through a fifty-slide Powerpoint five minutes before a sales call isn’t reasonable. But pulling up a two-minute video for a refresher on a new sales tactic is.
Video is succinct
Your videos can convey important information in far less time than a text document or an in-person presentation. Once again, this helps ensure your reps actually consume your content. Would you rather watch a two-minute video or read a 10-page document? Exactly.
The succinctness of videos also helps reduce information overload, which we talked about earlier. Goodbye long-winded emails; hello short, snappy videos.
The video below is a good example. It was created to share important sales metrics with team members, which it does in just 49 seconds. Not bad!
Video is engaging and memorable
It’s no secret that video is a highly engaging communication channel.
In other words, people love videos and they’re an effective communication channel. This point is illustrated in the video below. Company values aren’t the most exciting topic in the world. But this video’s use of color, animations, and music still make it engaging and memorable.
Video is updateable
Things change quickly in the world of sales. You need a single point of truth. The last thing you want is for your sales reps to pull up an old email and reference out-of-date information during an important sales call.
Video is easy to update. When you create and share your videos with Biteable Teams, that link you embedded in that two-months-old email will automatically update any time you make a change to the original video.
Your sales team always has access to the latest, most accurate information. This saves time, avoids confusion, and puts you one step closer to your goal of achieving alignment.
Align your sales department with Biteable Teams
Alignment is key to the success of your sales team. If the team isn’t on the same page, morale will be low, productivity and efficiency will plummet, and turnover will rise.
Video is an ideal tool for sales alignment. With it, you can effectively communicate high-level and day-to-day goals, clarify leadership roles, and teach proper sales processes. This is because videos are asynchronous, succinct, engaging, and updateable.
When it comes to video creation, you can’t beat Biteable Teams.
The platform is both easy-to-use and immensely powerful. Hundreds of video templates and brandable scenes take the guesswork out of video making. Video analytics help you keep tabs on your success, and a collaborative workflow makes creation, approval, and sharing a snap.